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The London dealer’s idiosyncratic blend of decor was well received by an audience of international dealers and assorted glitterati who raised £2.7m (hammer) for just over 800 lots, principal among them this George II mahogany hall chair designed by William Kent for Chiswick Hall.
It was conceived by Richard Boyle, third Earl of Burlington, as one of a set of 12 elbow chairs in the Vitruvian manner for the octagon-domed banqueting hall of his Roman villa by the Thames. Accordingly, the legs are festooned with libation paterae in honour of the gods of food and drink, Ceres and Bacchus, while the dolphin scales carved to the arms allude to their mistress Venus. The provenance of the chair, which included such estates as Chatsworth, Elvaston Castle and Brockenhurst Park, did much to attract the American trade who, unperturbed by the varnished condition, contested it to £125,000 (plus 17.5/10 per cent premium) where £20,000-30,000 had been expected.